Girls Suffering from Trafficking in Ethiopia

These are what traffickers and their local agents, brokers, often told rural girls in Ethiopia, who are in a critical social-economical problem: “You will get a good job in Sudan; you will be attractive paid and you will enjoy life as well as get out your families from poverty…” Nevertheless, the reality the trafficked girls eventually face during their illegal journey to the country they have thought to be ‘heaven’ is extremely horrible.

During their journey to Sudan, which cross a vast desert, many girls lost their lives, many get raped and robbed, and become subjected to several human rights violations.

Even if they reach Sudan and get a job, they can’t escape from abuses such as long working hours, unbearable workload, having to work in other households, restricted movement and isolation, inability to change employers, lack of leisure, denial of wages, and irregular payment of wages. Their freedom of movement and communication outside the household is also restricted through confiscation of passports and work permits.

Recently I have been in Metema, an Ethio-Sudan border town, and witnessed the considerable human trafficking in there and its horrifying feature. During my two days stay I visited more than 200 victims of serious human rights violations. And most of them told me their horrifying history.

Teshome Lemelem is 18 years old girl and came from Oromia Region looking for a better life. She has been captured by the Sudan police while she was trying to enter khartoum. She says a group of traffickers would come and repeatedly rape her and her friends.

“Not only rape, they took all our money and other properties by force; they left those who were unable to walk because of the long journey and hunger in the endless desert and let them die; they beat us when we walk slowly.

She also says two of her friends missed when she awakened one morning.

According to the resident of Metema, a border town, from 200 up to 500 girls, including children, are daily trafficked to Sudan and other Arab countries illegally.

By Betre Yacob

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